'Certainly not': Alex Ferguson would not have paid £35m for Andy Carroll

West Ham play Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he would never have paid £35million for Andy Carroll.

The much-maligned England forward heads to Manchester United with West Ham tonight fresh from scoring the first goal of his loan stint at Upton Park.

For a team who have made a habit of conceding the first goal this season, Carroll is an obvious threat.

Yet Carroll continues to struggle to live up to his billing as England's most expensive player thanks to that extraordinary move from Newcastle to Liverpool in January 2011.

"He has only played something like a dozen games for Newcastle and then he had to deal with a £35million transfer to a club like Liverpool. That's quite a big jump," Ferguson told http://www.manutd.com.

"I'd certainly not sign that kind of player for that kind of money.

"We've gambled on young players in the past, maybe a couple of million or whatever, but when you get that level you really have to do a bit more homework and see how he is in his second season maybe.

"He's still not had a lot of games but he is a big lad, aggressive and a great header of the ball.

"He'll be a handful for our defenders."

After working alongside the 23-year-old at close quarters during Euro 2012, Wayne Rooney knows the reality of Carroll's performances is nowhere near the perception many have of him.

He said: "That type of player doesn't always get all the goals but they can cause trouble up front and create problems.

"I am sure that is what Sam Allardyce wants him to do."

Rather like Rooney, Carroll demands attention. It seems he cannot have a quiet game, when he blends into the background.

He has to either be brilliant or awful, with the brutal assessment often falling on the latter.

Rooney knows from personal experience such situations are never quite so black and white.

However, he accepts they come with the territory.

"It is something you get used to," he said.

"In the Premier League, you are there to be judged, whether that is good or bad.

"You just have to deal with it."

With Paul Scholes suspended, Ferguson has already confirmed Anderson will start for only the second time in the Premier League this season.

It is also possible either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will replace Rafael at right-back, whilst David de Gea might also come in for Anders Lindegaard.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk